Individualizing Exposure Therapy for PTSD: The Case of Caroline
Keywords:posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), prolonged exposure (PE), therapeutic relationship, Plan Analysis, imaginative relaxation
AbstractIn therapy for chronic posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), prolonged exposure (PE) to stimuli associated with an original trauma experience is considered a state-of-the-art treatment method. The present case report outlines the use of Foa and Rothbaum’s (1998) manual for this type of treatment in the year-long, 40-session treatment of Caroline, an adult female victim of child sexual abuse. The manual was supplemented by Caspar’s (1995, 2007) Plan Analysis technique for individualized case formulation and treatment planning, along with Caspar’s concept of the Motive-Oriented Therapeutic Relationship (MOTR). As indicated by standardized, quantitative measures, by changes in the client’s behavior patterns, and by the client’s subjective report, the treatment was very effective. An analysis of the therapy process illustrates the importance of a combination of manual-based procedures with individualized case formulations and interventions. The case is discussed in the context of enhancing the cognitive-behavioral treatment of PTSD.
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